I read this article the other day….
Two very similar words with parallel meaning, derived from Greek and very much interdependent on one another. Both words proceed with ‘ortho’ meaning right or correct. Orthodoxy is concerned with the right/correct beliefs of a religious system. It is more often than not applied to Christianity. Orthopraxy is the lesser known brother and is concerned with doing or practicing the correct or right things.
Some where along the way I missed the point. I spent several years at a Christian university to earn a bachelors in the study of scripture, specializing in general religion with a some what Baptist slant (although I am not Baptist per se, that is beside the point). I learned everything from consubstantiation to hermaneutics. I can list the differences between pre-, mid-, and post-tribulation along with all the eschatological implications and probably more than the average reader would care to hear about. All of this fits under the umbrella of orthodoxy. All of this is good to know and forms the foundation of my faith. I have been well equipped to interpret the scriptures and go out and equip others likewise. This is a very good thing. But it must not be the end.
Orthodoxy MUST produce orthopraxy. Or else we have it all backwards. If we are concerned more about being right, then we have missed the point entirely and set ourselves up for being a candidate of legalism.
1 Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. 3 Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it? Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?6 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.